Representational Image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The Accountant General's office cleared the files within hours of union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman alleging in the Lok Sabha that Kerala did not submit AG authenticated certificates for "GST compensation" since 2017-18.
AG sent the files to the state GST commissioner on Monday evening.
Meanwhile, it has come to light that a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2021 stated that Kerala had already given accounts related to GST compensation. According to tax report 1 of 2021, Kerala is among the 19 states that submitted figures for 2017-17. It also notes that the audits of the years 2018 and 2019 are pending since the union revenue department failed to submit the data of compensation.
Sitharaman, in the Lok Sabha, had slammed Kerala for the delay in submitting the figures. However, state finance minister KN Balagopal stated that Kerala has already received most of the compensation and only around Rs 750 crore has been pending.
Sitharaman was responding to a question raised by Kollam MP NK Premachandran regarding the IGST share of Kerala. The finance minister did not mention the IGST and her reply was on GST compensation. Later, Premachandran slammed Kerala for blaming the union government for "delaying GST compensation." The question and the response had triggered a political controversy in Kerala with LDF slamming Premachandran for raking up "non-existent issues" rather than focusing on the real ones.
According to the Kerala government, it has nothing to do with the matter as the AG does not come under its jurisdiction. That is why the AG gave the data soon after the issue was raised in parliament, sources said.
Since there was confusion over the figures in several states, the union government had sanctioned most of the arrears without waiting for the AG certificate. Kerala had expected a total of Rs 42,639 crore as compensation for five years. Of which, the state is yet to receive Rs 776 crore.
However, the final data regarding compensation can only be known after receiving the AG report for 2020-21.
If the GST commissioner fails to give an opinion within two weeks, then the figures will be confirmed, said the AG's office.
(With inputs from SN Jayaprakash's story on Mathrubhumi newspaper)